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February 21, 2019

Kidney ailments on the rise in Pakistan, warns Prof Rizvi


February 21, 2019

Prof Dr Adibul Hasan Rizvi, an eminent urologist and the director of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), has said kidney ailments are on the rise in Pakistan due to poor nutrition, unsafe drinking water, absence of immunisation, unhealthy living conditions and lack of awareness, warning that the number of patients with preventable disease will keep rising if the living conditions are not improved.

“Hundreds of patients daily visit our OPDs and emergency and this number would keep on increasing because the living conditions are not improving, while there are no proper health facilities where quality treatment is provided free of charge as the majority of our people cannot afford health services at private clinics and hospitals,” he said while speaking to The News at the SIUT Karachi on Wednesday.

Prof Rizvi, who regularly sees patients in the OPD at the SIUT from morning till afternoon, said his presence in the hospital among the patients compelled his colleagues and other staff to remain alert and vigilant till the last patient was seen and provided proper consultation.

“Such a large number of patients come to us because they know that we would not turn them back and would not leave the OPD until and unless each and every patient is seen and provided medical consultation by me and my team.

“We have no concept of separate OPDs for VIPs and all my patients are asked to come to the general OPD so that they could feel that nobody is superior here,” he observed.

Asked as to why the number of patients was on the rise with each passing day, Prof Rizvi said people from entire Pakistan visited the SIUT because they had no other such place to go and seek free medical treatment.

Preventing kidney ailments

Prof Rizvi said that although it was a difficult task and there were too many things that caused kidney ailments, there were some precautionary measures that could help people in preventing themselves from catching these diseases.

“Drinking plenty of water and, if possible, drink clean drinking water. Avoid eating meat and junk food, be as lean as possible and exercise regularly and it is hoped that people would remain healthy and fit.”

Diabetes had emerged as one of the major risk factors that was not only resulting in other serious issues but was also a major cause of renal failure in local people, Prof Rizvi said but added that diabetes was also a lifestyle disease and could be avoided or controlled by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Opposition to organ donation

Pakistani religious scholars, doctors and other educated people have emerged as the biggest hurdle in cadaver organ donation, Prof Rizvi said, adding that these influential people never spoke of organ donation or asked their followers to donate their organs so that lives of other people could be saved.

“Why are people reluctant about organ donation in Pakistan? Because our Ulema, doctors and educated people have never asked their followers to donate their organs so that lives of dozens of people who are dying daily due to organ failure could be saved,” he observed, saying although nobody spoke against organ donation these days, none of the influential people also spoke in its favour.

At a time when organ donation was a common practice in the entire Islamic world, laws were in place in Pakistan to promote organ donation and capable people were also present in the country to save lives by performing organ transplants, people’s reluctance to donate organs posthumously was due to the silence of society, especially of its educated class, he observed.

“Every month, around 2,000 people die in road accidents here and their organs, including kidneys, hearts, eyes others organs, can help thousands of people live a normal and healthy life but nobody discusses this issue as if nobody has to die.”

‘Allah Almighty does not need your organs,”

Prof Rizvi said and added that during his entire life, he had tried to convince the people that Allah Almighty did not need human organs as he was such a creator that he could reproduce humans from nothing so there was no restriction on donating organs to save lives.

“Islam says saving another human being’s life is equal to saving entire humanity, so if a person donates his organ in his or her life or after death, he or she would be actually saving entire humanity and such people would be rewarded by the Almighty Allah on the day of judgment,” he maintained.

He said that unfortunately, people in our society had not taught their children about the importance of saving lives, not only human lives but also those of animals, insects and plants. “We don’t tell our children to respect human lives as well as animals and plants. We give them swords and guns to play and expect that they would donate organs for others, which is very difficult.”

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